There is a real opportunity for the Cleveland Browns to give their roster a boost. What will this 2014 NFL mock draft entail for them?
Round 1 – Teddy Bridgewater – QB – Louisville
The term “franchise” quarterback is far too narrow to really be fair in judging whether a quarterback can or can’t help a team win. Is Teddy Bridgewater a little thin? Yes. Is he somewhat reserved? Yes. Is he also a winner, tall, accurate, intelligent and good under pressure? Yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes.
Round 1 (from IND) – Stephon Tuitt – DE – Notre Dame
Paul Kruger and Barkevious Mingo were solid additions to the Browns pass rush in 2013 but in order to go from a good to a great defense they need more push up front. Stephon Tuitt is an ideal fit for their 3-4 scheme. He’s big, strong, relentless and shows an instinct for finding his way to the quarterback.
Round 2 – Cyril Richardson – OG – Baylor
Alex Mack is a Pro Bowler at center but Cleveland needs to think about upgrading the guard positions around him. Despite his struggles in the Senior Bowl, Cyril Richardson is a mammoth interior blocker from Baylor who exhibits outstanding drive that makes him a road grader on the ground. His time played at tackle also signals he’s not a bad pass protector either.
Round 3 – Paul Richardson – WR – Colorado
Bridgewater will have some nice weapons in Josh Gordon and Jordan Cameron to work with but in order to maximize his potential he will need as many as possible. Paul Richardson had some injury problems early at Colorado but has since returned to form as one of the more underrated playmakers in the college ranks, sporting a good 6’1″ frame, decent speed and excellent hand-eye coordination.
Round 3 (from PIT) – Lache Seastrunk – RB – Baylor
Running back was a serious problem for the Cleveland Browns all of 2013 so don’t expect them to escape this 2014 NFL mock draft without addressing it at least once. Lache Seastrunk fell down boards somewhat due to an injury problem but the Baylor runner is a home run threat with the ball in his hands and sports compact, powerful lower body.
Round 4 – Morgan Breslin – OLB – USC
A surprising string of injuries plagued him in 2013, which was unusual considering most of his career at USC was spent without such problems. However, during his brief playing time Morgan Breslin was one of the best pass rushing linebackers in college football. He never takes a play off, shows great anticipation and uses a variety of moves to beat blockers to the quarterback.
Round 4 (from IND) – Deione Belue – CB – Alabama
He isn’t the biggest corner on the field most of the time, but Deione Belue may be one of the savviest. During his games at Alabama he showcased a knack for beating receivers for body position when the pass was in the air. His footwork allows him to take chances on big plays but also recover quickly if he guesses wrong. Run defense is also something he embraces.
Round 5 – Chris Watt – OG – Notre Dame
Going in the fifth round pretty much says that Chris Watt is not a premier athlete at guard, but the Notre Dame product has other strengths to his game. He is powerful in both his stance and his hands, able to control rushers and drive off the ball in the run game. Like his fellow line mates he’s also very heady, rarely getting caught off guard.
Round 6 – Antonio Andrews – RB – Western Kentucky
Running backs are much easier to hit on in the later rounds than most other positions. The tale often lay in the production. Antonio Andrews was a consistent force for Western Kentucky, averaging six yards per carry and topping 1,700 yards and 16 touchdowns. He was also an underrated receiver out of the backfield.
Round 7 – Jonathan Brown – OLB – Illinois
Playing for a down-on-its-luck program like Illinois has gotten Jonathan Brown somewhat overlooked. The linebacker has experience on the inside and outside. He’s thick and strong in his lower frame, boasts long arms and has a downhill mentality to attack holes and stick ball carriers. He’s also quite adept in coverage and rushing the passer.